The Jungle Book

TV review by Lien Murakami, Common Sense Media
The Jungle Book Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 6+

CGI adaptation with mild scares treads too-familiar ground.

Parents say

age 5+

Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 5+

Based on 3 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 7+

This is honestly one of the best The Jungle Book adaptations I've ever seen

 This is honestly one of the best The Jungle Book adaptations I've ever seen and I really hope they continue to push out more seasons. What parents need to first understand is that this CGI cartoon adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is NOT affiliated with the 1967 Disney movie The Jungle Book. In fact, I would argue that this adaptation is BETTER than Disney's version because it closely follows the source material and added important characters that were in the original Jungle Book that were omitted from Disney's adaptation. Once we clear that up, I can continue to explain why this show is a lot better than what the bad reviews are saying. This cartoon follows the original Jungle Book story a lot better than Disney did, and it actually has Kaa remain the powerful, feared python that he's supposed to be. It always bothered me that Disney made Kaa a comic relief and enemy to Mowgli in their adaptation, when in reality Kaa is supposed to be a friend and mentor to Mowgli. In this adaptation Kaa is depicted as a cranky, feared snake that is usually on good terms with Mowgli, and I appreciate the writers for this change. I also like that Bagheera is more playful and laid back in this series and is more like Mowgli's best friend than mentor. I thought that was a nice change compared to his more stern, serious adaptations. I still don't understand why Baloo wears glasses in this series if he's a wild bear, but that doesn't really take away from the main plot so it's fine. Mowgli can be quite naïve in this series, as he is constantly being tricked by Tabaqui the jackal, despite him constantly deceiving him and plotting with Shere Khan to get rid of him. But overall Mowgli is very caring and compassionate about the animals he interacts with in the jungle and he never hesitates to help someone in trouble, even an enemy. This is the main reason why Tabaqui can manipulate and trick him so easily. But Mowgli has a good heart and this makes him a well liked character. The voices may take a while to get used to at first, since the voice cast is British and it may feel a bit unfitting since Mowgli is an Indian orphan living in the Indian jungle. But eventually the voices grow on you and the voice acting gets better. I think overall this show has a lot of positive messages, like the importance of friendship, family, helping those in need, loyalty, etc. These messages are usually taught through wacky adventures that usually have characters acting really exaggerated and silly, while still getting the message across. Take for example, characters like Jacala the crocodile. He's constantly warning Mowgli and his friends to stay out of his territory or he will attack them and is seen on many occasions chasing Mowgli, but even he does not hesitate to help Mowgli when he's in trouble if Mowgli has helped him in the past. This is a great way to teach kids that one good turn deserves another. I think the only "scary" part about this series is Shere Khan's persistent determination to "get the man cub". In almost every episode he can be seen plotting with his henchman Tabaqui the jackal to catch Mowgli. The chase scenes might be scary for younger audiences because of how threatening Shere Khan's dialog usually is and how close he gets to harming Mowgli. But Mowgli and his friends usually end up outsmarting and defeating Shere Khan. I think for older kids this shouldn't be a problem. The last thing I want to talk about is the graphics. At first they may appear cheap at best, but upon closer inspection, I realized that the character designs actually have real animal textures and features to them, making them appear more realistic. Even the backgrounds look almost like real jungle shots. I thought that was a nice touch. You can really tell that the development and animation team worked really hard on this series and it deserves a lot more praise than it's being given. I hope my long, thorough review is helpful.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 2+

This isn't Disney people!

Contrary to what people are saying, this show is NOT on Disney XD and to my knowledge never had. I have seen it however, on 2 different channels. I seen it on Discovery Family back in 2015 and it still comes on weekdays on the Kids Click line up on the Fox My 49 local station. Now that I have that out of the way, my biggest issue with this one is that I just don't like it. The voice acting is terrible and Mowgli is ugly to look at and his voice and personality make him obnoxious and annoying. The CGI hasn't aged well if it truly is that old and the acting is all done by what sounds like British people who sound quite bored as if they are simply reading their lines with very little effort. All of the characters look rather ugly due to the poor use of CGI and none of them have any of the charm that the old Disney film had. Baloo is now a professor/scholarly type and is now a kill joy as opposed to the comic relief he was in the Disney cartoon. There's a jackle who looks more like a red fox and if they hadn't called him a jackle I would not have known what he actually was. And as I said before Mowgli is so obnoxiously voiced and animated I actually hope (in vain of course) that the tiger Sher Khan gets him and eats him so I don't have to hear a British sounding boy whine worse than Peppa Pig. Yes it is that bad that Peppa Pig looks and sounds better at least in my opinion. This show is pretty much garbage, but I can tolerate it so it's not the worst thing by any means...

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